Op-ed by Jim Warren
Regarding the Poland climate talks, I cringed to see two stories that badly misstated the science.
The New York Times [12/16/18] indicated that humanity has 35 years to change course before global average temperature reaches the threshold climate scientists warn we must avoid: 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The Associated Press [12/17/18] implied we have until the end of the century!
Both are dead wrong. Data from Jim Hansen’s team show we were already at 1.07 C a year ago. With the rate of warming accelerating, we’re set to hit 1.5 within 7 years.
Worse yet, Michael Mann and other leading scientists say that if emissions keep growing, we’ll hit a point of no return by around 2020, leading to runaway heating, weather extremes and rising seas.
Confirming Mann’s warning, Hansen and others say we’re already sure to hit the 1.5 threshold due to past emissions. Drastic reductions must begin right now.
As Hansen, Mann, Duke University’s Drew Shindell and others insist, curbing emissions of super-heat-trapping methane is absolutely essential to avoid runaway climate chaos. Where does most of that methane come from? The US fracking boom. Who is driving the market for fracked gas? Duke Energy.
Solar-with-storage is cheaper — as many utilities are proving — and can rapidly replace coal and “natural” gas. But Duke plans to be only 8 percent renewable by 2033.
Good people, let’s don’t look back and lament that more of us didn’t demand that Duke Energy stop its climate-wrecking fracked-gas expansion.